"This is a very important book and should be required reading for students, scholars, policy makers and others interested in linguistic pluralism." – CHOICE
From the Back Cover
Christopher N. Candlin, Chair Professor of Applied Linguistics,
Department of English, Centre for English Language Education and Communication Research, City University of Hong kong, Hong Kong
Language in Social Life is a major series which highlights the importance of language to an understanding of issues of social and professional concern. It will be of practical relevance to all those wanting to understand how the ways we communicate both influence and are influenced by the structures and forces of contemporary social institutions.
'This is a fine example of a rich, innovative and pluralistic interpretation of minority language rights and needs the world over.... With this book, cultural democracy arguments take a real step ahead. Bravo!'
Professor Joshua A. Fishman, Stanford University and Yeshiva University
In this provocative and ground-breaking book, Stephen May argues for a major reappraisal of the long-held constructivist consensus in the sociology of ethnicity and nationalism, and to a lesser extent in the sociology of language, that dismisses language as an important feature of individual and collective identity. Language may well be contingent but it is not unimportant, as made clear by the many historical and contemporary ethnic and ethnonational movements and conflicts that focus on language. May argues that the causes of many of these language-based conflicts lie with the nation-state and its preoccupation with establishing a 'common' language and culture via mass education.
Language and Minority Rights draws together debates on language from the sociology of language, ethnicity and nationalism, sociolinguistics, social and political theory, education, history and law, and encompasses a breadth of cross-national contexts and examples. It is essential reading for students, teachers and researchers in the sociology of language, sociolinguistics, ethnicity, nationalism, politics, education and language policy and planning.
Stephen May is a Lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University of Bristol. He is a founding editor of the international journal, Ethnicities and is the author or editor of the following books: Critical Multiculturalism (1999), Indigenous Community-based Education (1999) and Making Multicultural Education Work (1994).